Call for Commentaries: Neglected Spaces in Science Communication

Posted in: Learning and Training

Many of the earliest drivers for improved scientific literacy and understanding were based on the assumption that science and technology is all around us. This ethos that science is part of our world, is also apparent in countless communication efforts today and is a clear justification for public inclusion in engagement, and yet as science communicators it is often easy to focus on the most popular subject matter, or activities and events which generate the greatest obvious attention. As a community we therefore know a huge amount about subjects such as immunisation, GM, nuclear power and other timely topics, as well as the activities of the mass media, and science centres and museums, but we perhaps focus less on the equally important but less visible spaces and subjects in which science communication can be happening in peoples’ daily lives.

This series of commentaries will focus on the ways in which people might encounter science communication beyond its most typical settings. It will invite contributions from authors working in areas such as public health, the arts, protest, emerging digital spaces, and the boundaries between science and education. Commentaries are also encouraged which explore the intersections between "traditional" spaces and activities for science communication and other areas of interest. Commentaries can be personal in style, but pieces which incorporate reference to the science communication literature and/or evaluation data are particularly encouraged.

A note on COVID-19:  Although COVID-19 raises many issues of relevance to this set of commentaries, JCOM are currently collating a Special Issue on COVID-19 and science communication (including commentaries) and ideas which entirely focus on this should be directed to this opportunity:

COVID-19 is also placing increased caring responsibilities, worries and workload on many people at the moment. I would like to encourage a diversity of voices to submit to this set of commentaries, so please do contact me if you would like to submit a commentary and the timeline below does not work for you, so that we can discuss alternative options.
Key Dates

Expression of interest:

Please send a (maximum 250 word) expression of interest to by Monday 13th July 2020. The expression of interest should contain:

- Title and short summary of the focus of the commentary - Brief explanation of how it relates to science communication and why it would be of interest to the readers of JCOM
- An indication of where the example is based (e.g. in which country/location the project/activity/insight is drawn from)

It should be accompanied by the names, contact details and affiliations of any author/s.

You will be notified if you have been invited to prepare a full commentary by Monday 27th July 2020.

Commentary Submission:  Final invited commentaries should be 1,500-3,000 words in length and should follow the style information for authors available on the JCOM website.

A draft of the commentary should be submitted directly to by Monday 21st September 2020.

You will then receive comments and feedback before submitting your final draft of the commentary to the JCom submission portal. A deadline will be provided for this following the submission of the first draft.

The commentaries are expected to be published by Spring 2021.

Further questions and queries can be sent to:

Clare Wilkinson Science Communication Unit, UWE Bristol +44 (0)117 32 82146

Posted in: Learning and Training


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